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So a funny thing happened with that house I put an offer in on. I offered full asking price with a large amount of earnest money and 20% cash down. The other offers came in under the asking price with lower down and lower earnest. But for some reason my offer was rejected and the sellers are countering one of the lower offers. No idea what’s going on. The only thing I can think of was that the seller’s agent wanted the lions share of the payment so he is taking on both the seller and buyer agent parts in the transaction. Maybe he didn’t even show the sellers my offer. Who knows?

So we’re moving along. I had an apartment lined up in case we couldn’t find a house fast enough. Back into another apartment. I hate even writing those words. Apartments are anathema to the way we live. They’re confined, have no privacy, can’t be changed or worked on or improved in any way, and above all there is no land to work. My parents have already said that the garden is still mine. I’ll probably make the 2 hour drive here a few times a week to get produce for canning and eating, but I would have loved to have a plot of land of my own to work with next spring. And I would have loved to get a start on chickens this winter. It takes so long for them to start laying. Guess I’ll just have to find a local farm over that way to get eggs from in the meantime.

It’s disappointing, but that’s life. We do the best with what we have, and keep dreaming about the rest.

On a different note, the garden is going nuts! I’ve made a dozen pints of pickles, and tonight I’m starting on canning beans. Look at all the beans we got from just leaving the plants alone for one day…

Those are cucumbers, then Dragon’s Tongue beans, then some plain type of heirloom green bean. To can the beans, I rinsed them clean then set them in some salty ice water for the afternoon. I think this step ensures that you have crisp beans instead of sogged out, nasty things. When I had free time in the evening, I got my jars ready (washed them, then boiled them in water and a dash of vinegar) and quickly cut the beans up to 1-2″ pieces (leaving off the stem and blossom end). 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt went into the bottom of each hot jar, followed by as many bean pieces as I could pack in there. Over the top I poured plain, boiling water. I cleaned the rims, popped on some heated/sterilized lids, screwed on the rings, then processed the jars in a pressure canner for 20 minutes at 10#. As I write this, the stove is off and the pressure is slowly dropping. I can’t wait until the pressure hits 0 so I can take the lid off and see how all 7 pints turned out!

Important Note: NEVER water bath can green beans, as you risk allowing the Clostridium botulinum bacteria to proliferate inside your families food. Even after pressure canning beans, you may get a can that hisses a bit too much, bulges, or explodes upward when you open it. That is a danger sign. Throw any offending cans/jars of beans into the trash immediately, and sterilize all work surfaces. Botulism is not something you want to inoculate your loved ones with.

July 2011

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